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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:37 am 
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I'll make this a separate thread from the main announcement thread, because this one will be more about gameplay. Late Linear warfare is not the same as Napoleonics, and you'll quickly find that your usual tactics will not work the same. Because of that, we've included a document to help players adapt, and I'm going to copy that here.

Quote:
Seven Years War: Adapting from the Napoleonic Era to Linear Warfare.

John Tiller Software has put out a number of games over the years for the Napoleonic Era (and more recently, Wars of the French Revolution.) However, the era of Linear Warfare found in Seven Years War is going to take some effort for Napoleonic players to adapt to, as this game has some subtle changes which will influence your style of play. I'd like to take a few moments to highlight the changes you'll see, and how they may affect your play.


Infantry: Infantry will likely be the single biggest change in the game for you for a variety of reasons. The armies of the Late Linear era were trained and drilled a bit differently than the mass armies of the Napoleonic era, and that leads to some extremely important changes.

1) Column. By far, the most important change is column. The attack column formations that were widely used by most nations in the Napoleonic era simply hadn't been developed at this point. The French were already starting to take some of the theoretical steps down that road, but even those were halting steps. Nobody really had anything resembling a true “Column of Attack” at this point.

Because of this, this game treats the column formation very differently than the Napoleonic games. In effect, the values have been changed to make the column a “Column of March” (which did exist.) Specifically, the firepower value of columns has been gutted. More importantly, this game introduces a Column Melee Modifier, and that modifier is generally a very harsh penalty for units that melee in column. In effect, columns should not be able to successfully melee under anything but the most favorable odds.

Combine this with the fact that the rules do not allow you to change formation while in D status, and that makes column infantry extremely vulnerable. A unit can be “trapped” in column formation for a number of turns, unable to do much of anything useful.

Historically, units would deploy into line well away from the enemy, and certainly before they came into contact. Because units in D status cannot change formation, this would be a good practice for players to follow here as well.

2) No square. The infantry units of this era very rarely formed square. Instead, they would often turn the 3rd rank to the rear if needed to repulse a cavalry attack. Therefore, infantry units are typically restricted from forming square. However, as I'll mention in regards to Cavalry, the lower charge value (combined with the overall lower stacking values) means that good order infantry can generally stand to a frontal charge.

3) Very few light troops. While there were some highly trained light infantry (most notably the Austrian Grenzer units) line units were not trained to use skirmishers in a Napoleonic fashion. The only light troops you'll get are specific light infantry units. The Light Troops generally fit into one of two categories. You have the trained Light Infantry, most notably the Austrian Grenzers and then Jaegers in the service of the North German States, who were highly trained light infantry. Then, there were more hastily raised troops (such as Frederick's “Freikorps”) which tended to be of considerably lower quality.

Cavalry:
Lower Charge Values: Cavalry Charge Values are pretty much lowered 1 step across the board compared to the Napoleonic Games. While the cavalry of this era was better than say the Era of Marlborough in the charge, it's still not as well developed as you would see a few years later. The Prussians led the way in reforming Cavalry, especially heavy Cavalry.

This means that you'll need to choose your moment to use Cavalry fairly carefully. They'll only really be effective against other Cavalry, tired and disrupted infantry, or from the flank and rear. One thing the M&P engine allows is a melee bonus for a given unit, and most Prussian Cavalry carries this bonus (+1 for Light Cavalry, and +2 for Heavy.)

Artillery:
Artillery is less changed than the others, aside from being a bit less mobile than you may be used to. As in Renaissance, the previous game in the M&P series, heavier guns such as 24pdrs need to "set up" once unlimbered, so may take several turns before they are able to fire. The famous Frederickian Horse Artillery is actually pretty rare. It was only ever a single unit, and was in very few battles that are represented in the game.

Note, the decision was made to assume that the 3 pound battalion guns most armies used are always attached to the mother unit. This cuts down somewhat on counter clutter, and is in keeping with the era. They are factored into the base firepower of the units, which tends to increase the firepower of line infantry units in game.

Other considerations:
1) Stacking. The stacking limits in the game are quite low compared to the Napoleonic games. This is a reflection of the different doctrine of the era. This does make maneuver and getting good melee odds more difficult.
2) Command. The armies are always going to be a bit less nimble in their command arrangements. Command and control was still in an early stage of development at this point, and you didn't really have permanent divisions or brigades, but these things would be done ad hoc on the battlefield.
Also, one big rule change is that detached units cannot melee. This is to reflect the importance of command, and will tend to slow down the action a bit.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:57 am 
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I have this open to this part in the pdf right now... I am supposed to be working... I was wondering if this was ever going to see the light of day--I have not heard any rumors of it in at least 5 years!!!

Congrats Gary, it looks great.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 12:00 pm 
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Jim Pfleck wrote:
I have this open to this part in the pdf right now... I am supposed to be working... I was wondering if this was ever going to see the light of day--I have not heard any rumors of it in at least 5 years!!!

Congrats Gary, it looks great.


Long story, but yes, that's why I made my McClellan joke. The development lasted longer than the war... I also told Rich that I was really glad he didn't give me the 100 Years War.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:12 pm 
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Gary McClellan wrote:
Jim Pfleck wrote:
I have this open to this part in the pdf right now... I am supposed to be working... I was wondering if this was ever going to see the light of day--I have not heard any rumors of it in at least 5 years!!!

Congrats Gary, it looks great.


Long story, but yes, that's why I made my McClellan joke. The development lasted longer than the war... I also told Rich that I was really glad he didn't give me the 100 Years War.


Well its done and that is the main thing!

Hope you will do a War of the Austrian/Spanish Secession game eventually. You are well suited to the linear warfare games!

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:14 pm 
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We'll see what the long term brings, but I can say in confidence that neither WSS nor WAS are on the immediate agenda.

I'm off to do the Hapsburg/Ottoman Danube Valley Wars!

Well, ok, no.

Though that would be interesting (at least to me.)

But yeah, in time, and if Rich H would have me back, maybe.... but not any time soon.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:11 am 
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Someone over at the Blitz noted that the default optional rules may not be working properly. I've already kicked that up to Rich, but it made me realize that I didn't put in the notes my suggestions and why. Do with them as you will :)


Quote:
The Musket and Pike engine is designed for the ability to cover a number of different wars across several centuries. The first game of the series, “The Renaissance” has some battles over 250 years before the Seven Years War. However, that flexibility means that some of the optional rules that the game offers are better or worse for the specific era that any given game is covering.

Therefore, I would like to make some suggestions about the optional rules in this game, and if they should be turned on or off to best get a feel for late linear warfare.


Manual Defensive Fire: ON
This setting produces one of the most important changes in gameplay that the series has to offer. If you turn it off, there are no distinct phases in the game, but you can move and fire your different units at will. On the other hand, if this rule is on, you'll get distinct movement, fire and melee phases. Late linear warfare tended to be fairly formalized, and turning this rule on gives a much better representation of that.

The downside of turning it on is for PBEM play, as it forces the players to exchange twice the emails you ordinarily would.

Victory Points for Leader Casualties: Your preference.
There's a definite advantage to be found in killing or wounding a major leader, but I don't believe that either approach creates a fundamentally different Seven Years War experience.

Rout Limiting: ON
This one is a fairly close call, but I think that on the whole, it does create a slightly better experience for this era. There are times that an army broke and ran, but that was usually after a long days fighting (with losses and fatigue). So, turning on Rout Limiting will help prevent mass routs until the respective armies are well down down.

ISOLATION RULES: OFF
The rule makes it easier to break down isolated units, but there are examples of units that are cut off making stout stands, especially if they're in some kind of a prepared position.

OPTIONAL FIRE RESULTS: ON
This rule tends to even out the highs and lows of firepower (it gives a higher chance of fire results being in the middle of the possible range, instead of one way or the other.

Melee Terrain Modifiers: ON
This gives benefit to a unit that's in a stronger defensive position.

COLUMN PASS THROUGH FIRE: ON
While this rule really goes back to the Napoleonic games (and thus, Napoleonic style column), it does discourage using column within artillery range, especially if you put multiple columns in one hex. As this game is using column to represent “Column of March” that's a good thing overall.

TARGET DENSITY MODIFER: Indifferent.
This one only kicks in at 1200 men in a hex, and the game has a stacking limit of 1000, so it never comes until play.

WEAK ZONE OF CONTROL: ON
This one is a bit of a double edged sword. It allows units to move around within enemy ZOC, which can allow for a level of infiltration tactics that's not really appropriate for the era. On the other hand, it prevents some rather cheap melee isolations, especially if you play with No Melee Elimintions off.

NO RETREAT OVERRUNS: OFF
This one is less important, because of the limited number of skirmishers you'll find in this game. That said, as this rule encourages using skirmishers for surround and destroy tactics, it's best left off.

PARTIAL RETREATS: ON
Because of the stacking limits in this game, you aren't likely to have stacks of more than 2 infantry units very often, but you will have multiple squadrons. This rule at least cuts down on losses from exploiting the stacking rules.

LINE MOVEMENT RESTRICTION: OFF
This rule gives a chance for units moving in line formation (even in clear terrain!) to disrupt upon movement, with lower grade infantry having a higher chance. The standard of drill of pretty much all the armies in this era makes this rule too restrictive on the players. Marching in line was what they drilled in on a very regular basis. Yes, the unit might have to stop and dress the lines at times, but to put full D status on is too punitive for that. (Note, you can still disrupt by moving into certain terrain types, which is part of the standard rules.)

FLANK MORALE MODIFIER: ON
This rule encourages using battalions in side by side line formation, which fits the era.

OPTIONAL MELEE RESULTS: ON
This is much the same as Optional Fire Results.

MULTIPLE CAVALRY MELEES: ON
This rule allows some of the more famous Cavalry Charges of the era, such as Zieten at Rossbach or the Bayreuth Dragoons at Hohenfriedberg (War of the Austrian Succession)

MULTIPLE INFANTRY MELEES: OFF
While the multiple rule may work with Cavalry, it's likely better to limit the usage there.

NO OPPORTUNITY FIRE AGAINST SKIRMISHERS: ON
This rule is really about conserving defensive fire, as it prevents players from using skirmishers to draw defensive opportunity fire. That said, if you're playing with MDF on, this rule is moot.

NO MELEE ELIMINATIONS: OFF
This one is a bit of a tighter discussion. Surround and destroy tactics were not common in this era (aside from the occasional strong point), but overall, I think it's better to have this rule than to force a player to tie up units for many turns to reduce an isolated unit.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:24 pm 
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Not sure for this series but isn't "Manual Defensive Fire" also providing 100% fire instead of this randomly triggered AI fire that only comes at 50%?

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:31 pm 
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I believe so, and this game absolutely has (in either format) 100% final defensive fire on melee. If you try to melee someone, you will take a full volley first.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:40 pm 
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Gary McClellan wrote:
I'll make this a separate thread from the main announcement thread, because this one will be more about gameplay. Late Linear warfare is not the same as Napoleonics, and you'll quickly find that your usual tactics will not work the same. Because of that, we've included a document to help players adapt, and I'm going to copy that here.

Quote:
Seven Years War: Adapting from the Napoleonic Era to Linear Warfare.

John Tiller Software has put out a number of games over the years for the Napoleonic Era (and more recently, Wars of the French Revolution.) However, the era of Linear Warfare found in Seven Years War is going to take some effort for Napoleonic players to adapt to, as this game has some subtle changes which will influence your style of play. I'd like to take a few moments to highlight the changes you'll see, and how they may affect your play.


Infantry: Infantry will likely be the single biggest change in the game for you for a variety of reasons. The armies of the Late Linear era were trained and drilled a bit differently than the mass armies of the Napoleonic era, and that leads to some extremely important changes.

1) Column. By far, the most important change is column. The attack column formations that were widely used by most nations in the Napoleonic era simply hadn't been developed at this point. The French were already starting to take some of the theoretical steps down that road, but even those were halting steps. Nobody really had anything resembling a true “Column of Attack” at this point.

Because of this, this game treats the column formation very differently than the Napoleonic games. In effect, the values have been changed to make the column a “Column of March” (which did exist.) Specifically, the firepower value of columns has been gutted. More importantly, this game introduces a Column Melee Modifier, and that modifier is generally a very harsh penalty for units that melee in column. In effect, columns should not be able to successfully melee under anything but the most favorable odds.

Combine this with the fact that the rules do not allow you to change formation while in D status, and that makes column infantry extremely vulnerable. A unit can be “trapped” in column formation for a number of turns, unable to do much of anything useful.

Historically, units would deploy into line well away from the enemy, and certainly before they came into contact. Because units in D status cannot change formation, this would be a good practice for players to follow here as well.

2) No square. The infantry units of this era very rarely formed square. Instead, they would often turn the 3rd rank to the rear if needed to repulse a cavalry attack. Therefore, infantry units are typically restricted from forming square. However, as I'll mention in regards to Cavalry, the lower charge value (combined with the overall lower stacking values) means that good order infantry can generally stand to a frontal charge.

3) Very few light troops. While there were some highly trained light infantry (most notably the Austrian Grenzer units) line units were not trained to use skirmishers in a Napoleonic fashion. The only light troops you'll get are specific light infantry units. The Light Troops generally fit into one of two categories. You have the trained Light Infantry, most notably the Austrian Grenzers and then Jaegers in the service of the North German States, who were highly trained light infantry. Then, there were more hastily raised troops (such as Frederick's “Freikorps”) which tended to be of considerably lower quality.

Cavalry:
Lower Charge Values: Cavalry Charge Values are pretty much lowered 1 step across the board compared to the Napoleonic Games. While the cavalry of this era was better than say the Era of Marlborough in the charge, it's still not as well developed as you would see a few years later. The Prussians led the way in reforming Cavalry, especially heavy Cavalry.

This means that you'll need to choose your moment to use Cavalry fairly carefully. They'll only really be effective against other Cavalry, tired and disrupted infantry, or from the flank and rear. One thing the M&P engine allows is a melee bonus for a given unit, and most Prussian Cavalry carries this bonus (+1 for Light Cavalry, and +2 for Heavy.)

Artillery:
Artillery is less changed than the others, aside from being a bit less mobile than you may be used to. As in Renaissance, the previous game in the M&P series, heavier guns such as 24pdrs need to "set up" once unlimbered, so may take several turns before they are able to fire. The famous Frederickian Horse Artillery is actually pretty rare. It was only ever a single unit, and was in very few battles that are represented in the game.

Note, the decision was made to assume that the 3 pound battalion guns most armies used are always attached to the mother unit. This cuts down somewhat on counter clutter, and is in keeping with the era. They are factored into the base firepower of the units, which tends to increase the firepower of line infantry units in game.

Other considerations:
1) Stacking. The stacking limits in the game are quite low compared to the Napoleonic games. This is a reflection of the different doctrine of the era. This does make maneuver and getting good melee odds more difficult.
2) Command. The armies are always going to be a bit less nimble in their command arrangements. Command and control was still in an early stage of development at this point, and you didn't really have permanent divisions or brigades, but these things would be done ad hoc on the battlefield.
Also, one big rule change is that detached units cannot melee. This is to reflect the importance of command, and will tend to slow down the action a bit.

Thanks for the candid analysis. The game sounds like it's very different from Napoleonic games and American Civil War games.
How does one maneuver and win on this battlefield?
Could you you offer some insight into that.
I am trying to bring myself to buy this game, but I am not sure.
Why was 3d omitted from the design?

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:46 pm 
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btw.........thank you for the default suggestions and opinions.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:51 pm 
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Took me a bit to find your comments, as they were buried within the nested quote.

In any case, to answer as I can. "Why no 3D?" Honestly, that came down to an issue with finding a 3D artist who would/could do the work. It's getting more and more difficult for Rich to find people who can do that. I know that REN released in the same manner and eventually got the 3D layer. If that will happen here, I'm not sure. Steve Trauth is in charge of the graphics, he may have a better answer.

How does one maneuver and win? The key here is going to be patience across the board. Use artillery and infantry fire to create disruption, which will then give you the ability to push more seriously at that point. You can use Cav to threaten flanks and then bring them in when the enemy infantry is weak, especially if you bring them off the flanks.

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JTS Seven Years War


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 6:51 am 
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thank you for your answers.

I myself do not use 3d.

My favorite opponent, who already purchased it, was disappointed that there was no 3d and it was the first thing he mentioned.

Hopefully it will be added, as you mentioned at a later date, for those that enjoy the miniature aspect of wargaming.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:14 am 
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Flagging this so I can answer Clint's question tomorrow (it is about 10 pm my time down in Oz) ...

Gary is basically correct - there were 3 artists on this project. Technically I was not supposed to be one, but Rich and/or Gary decided to add it to the credits because I had to rework nearly all of the 2D, not to mention menus, etc.

1st off Joe was needed elsewhere, and because of that you got more Napoleonics games. Fun fact, some of the buildings that were used in Marengo were ones I had sourced for Joe (3D I mean) - I am glad they got to be used in a title- although technically speaking ... those were from the Czech Republic. And I have waited a long time to write that. Joe had put out more 3D work than anyone else in the project.

The next artist committed to doing them, and then didn't; never got a single 3d file from him; and then the person after that provided several terrain samples and then was never heard from again, at least in the context of SYW. His work was pretty good mind you and if he actually bothered to have done it - it probably would have looked pretty good. As it was I got several samples of trees, and I think a single town hex, and maybe a field or something like that. Not enough to build files on, and eventually both Gary's and my boss on this one made the call to move on.

You can plug in NB series graphics and get a map, though. I have done it within the past 24 hours of so. The 'problem' is that you won't have any of the units' files, and would have to (if you want) make up the bases in appropriate national colours.

I can say that one of the 'problems' I ran into with this title, is that really the Austrians and the French should have both been white (or real close to it) -I had to make a call as to which one to use as what -so that if they ever are on the field at the same time, you, the user can tell them apart - because they cannot stack together, reload from each others' wagons, etc... White for Borbon white I guess.

I had to re-do all of the colours- since one of the artists had decided that the REN graphics used in building the title meant that those were the intended colours for each side- so you nearly had orange Austrians, and Purple Brunswickers ... that is also the reasoning behind what looks to be mismatched colours on the unit portraits - they actually did match up with a nation slot in the game at one time ... but I mean, come on ... purple Brunswickers? I did not have time to go all through the unit file and fix all of those to make them consistent again -which is one of the joys of taking over after someone decided to move on.

Who knows- maybe I will do that at some point. I am not sure that I will have the time to, though, with the other commitments I have made to different projects.

I will get a 3d map working out of other stock graphics at the very least -and I will do it so that it is in the next title.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:43 am 
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"1st off Joe was needed elsewhere, and because of that you got more Napoleonics games."

Well good. I sure needed the projects to make a living and its high time we got more artists too. I was after John to hire more graphics guys like you, Steve, LONG before you were on the projects. Like back in the days of Jena.

I am SUPER glad we have you and others doing graphics work. Its not right for the designers and other folks to have to wait for over a year for the two guys to come back around to the Nap series (or any other series for that matter). Once John had put out four series of games there was no doubt in my mind we needed more people.

I like the approach David Freer takes with the Panzer series. He takes public domain images and colorizes them much like what the folks with Frank Mullins were doing. He is done with an image in like 15-20 mins. While this approach will not work great with Napoleonics it means that the teams no longer have to wait for months for artwork to be finished.

I had Joe colorize a leader image for me for RBR (it was Boudet). If I could I would have him colorize every B&W leader image but we just dont have that kind of time.

The Scenario Design Team and all of the new folks that are on board for graphics are TRULY appreciated!

For the Marengo game I sent Joe Amoral images of Italian buildings. For that game he built some nice new artwork that fit more with that area of the world. The 3D buildings in Marengo are really nice.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:47 am 
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"NO MELEE ELIMINATIONS: OFF
This one is a bit of a tighter discussion. Surround and destroy tactics were not common in this era (aside from the occasional strong point), but overall, I think it's better to have this rule than to force a player to tie up units for many turns to reduce an isolated unit."

Maybe I am incorrect but the rule was brought in to STOP the blitz and with it off the units can be attacked and eliminated in one turn. So with the rule OFF you will have the Blitz .... and entire regiments and brigades can go "bye bye" in one turn.

WEAK ZONE OF CONTROL: ON
This one is a bit of a double edged sword. It allows units to move around within enemy ZOC, which can allow for a level of infiltration tactics that's not really appropriate for the era. On the other hand, it prevents some rather cheap melee isolations, especially if you play with No Melee Elimintions off.

This may help ... but if I put a unit in each of the surrounding hexes then the unit goes away if the melee is a success.

The Line Movement Disorder Rule option is a good choice. Lines dont move far in the game anyway. For the Nap era the French Republic era troops would march up in Column, deploy to Line, then hold their position. For the SYW era the well drilled armies could march in Line .. and like you say, Gary, dress the lines as needed with little disorder.

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